It is important to have someone to rely on in difficult and challenging times. More importantly, the person you rely on should be someone you have chosen. Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPOAs) enable you to nominate trusted attorneys to make decisions on your behalf in relation to your property (not including Trust property), and your care and welfare. To be clear, you can appoint any person you choose to be your attorney – in this case “attorney” does not mean “lawyer”.
A care and welfare attorney can only make decisions on your behalf if you are declared mentally incapable. Sometimes it is appropriate that your property attorney is able to act immediately, particularly where there is an element of physical incapacity or where there could be a delay in confirming mental incapacity.
Careful consideration should be given to who is best for each appointment, as each role carries with it different responsibilities. A property attorney should be trustworthy and financially savvy. As a safeguard it is a good idea to appoint two attorneys in this role. When appointing different attorneys for each role it is important that those attorneys have a good relationship, as they will need to work together in your best interests, often in challenging and emotional circumstances.
There is a misconception that EPOAs are for the older population. This is not true now that we are living longer and have active lifestyles that carry risks of injury. Having an EPOA in place provides peace of mind and, should the unthinkable happen, enables key decisions to be made without the delay and cost of having to involve the Court.